Mandi started attending my classes and I call her brave and crazy because, unlike many who are getting started, she came and planted her mat and weights right behind me. Honestly, she would have been on the stage if I let her, ha!! Crazy because she challenged even me many times, she had to bring in her own beach towel to keep the floors dry because this girl worked hard. I saw her transformation happening and every class she attended, which was just about every class I taught, she challenged herself and those around her...probably the most annoying energy within ear shot because once she knew your name, watch out she was going to challenge you not only in class but she was going to make sure you attended class by calling you out. Actually, everyone needs a Mandi to keep them honest and accountable.
No one can tell her story better, so here is Mandi...
Over the last 5.5 years I've been on a journey to find a Fit and Healthy person. When I started the journey I was over 300lb and I didn't know what exactly I was looking for or how I was going to get there. Little did I know all the places I would be and where this journey would take me.
To start my journey I was alone, it was just me, and so I found a couch to 5K program and just started moving. Soon I found a friend at work that ran and liked to do 5K races so she started to invite me to come and run the races with her. Before I knew it I was a runner... Well or at least I was out there giving it my all. After 2 years of running (very slowly) I put together a team and ran the Ragnar Relay. It was amazing! I felt like I was finally getting the hang of this "being Fit" thing! Little did I know I had a lot to learn and a lot more to do. While I had been running I still was concerned about what others thought of me and I had issues accepting who I was.
The next chapter in my life came about 4 months after I ran the Ragnar relay, my work offered me a 4 month rotation over in Afghanistan and I took it. While I thought this would be GREAT for my fitness because what else would I have to do besides work and workout, right.... WRONG!! the food over there is NOT healthy, most people have been over there for years and they don't really worry about their healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyle. So I stopped eating well, I didn't workout much and the weight came back on like CRAZY! You truly don't learn how quickly it comes back until its too little too late. Or at least that's what I thought.
So after returning from Afghanistan it took me a few months to settle back in. But then I got a gym membership and started taking classes. I thought, what better way to get motivated and back on track then take some classes. I tried all kinds of classes until I found my niche. Bootcamp! That's the class for me, strength, cardio, friends, and most important for me, COMPETITION! I have always been an athlete and competition I found is my best motivator and driving force! While taking bootcamp classes at the gym I have met an AMAZING group of friends who I taken me this rest of this amazing journey! At the gym I meet Terie (the instructor) who ended up introducing me to Laura (Thank you very much for that)! But while taking the classes I have meet some of the most amazing, encouraging and motivating women every! Eileen, little does she know, but she was always the person I tried so hard to catch up to and hoped to one day be able to keep up with. Well I think that day is pretty much here (almost ;-), so thank you Eileen, for always being there in class. Little did you know I was competing with you this whole time ;-) You were great to workout next to and you were one of the biggest motivators to help me get down to where I am now!! Thanks for always looking out for me, motivating and encouraging me to get one more rep in, or push for those last 5 sec, you have no idea how much it meant...
At this point in my journey I've lost almost 85 lb, I've ran 2 Ragnar Relays, 2 Half marathons, multiple warrior dashes, Spartan races, and so many 10K and 5K's I can't even count them. I got to multiple bootcamps every week (some on my own with my own small army of Fit ladies), I've become a "morning" person (gasp), and I LOVE being part of this #Specialkindofcrazy group! Powerful Fitness has changed my life and my view on fitness!! I've probably lost about 15% or more body fat and I have lost over 85 lb since Jan 2011. This road to a fit and healthy life is ever changing, and will ALWAYS change.
At this point in my journey I hope to find a way to help other women out there find their motivation, their drive and their desire to get Fit and Healthy! Being Fit and Healthy is different for every single one of us. I have realized and fully accepted that I will NEVER be an 8, at least not if I want to be the happy and fun person that I am now. I always want to be able to enjoy life, and being on a STRICT diet and cutting everything fun and enjoyable out of my life isn't going to do it. So instead I focus on what makes me happy, and finding the balance of Health, Happiness and Living life to its fullest! Powerful Fitness has given me something I didn't even know I was missing and thank you for that!!
With the encouragement of all my instructors and friends I've decided to get my group teaching certification and hopefully soon I might be able to help grow this #specialkindofcrazy army!
Every single one of you are amazing and capable of so much more than you think you are, you just have to put your mind to and be stronger than any of the fears or doubts you have. No matter how big your goals seem today, take them one step at a time, one small goal after another. You can reach any goal you set, the plan may change along the way, or maybe even the goal might change, but that's the fun part right!!
See you all out there, as we travel this journey together! 👸
Moral of the story - nothing is ever going to be easy, what you want takes hard work, discipline, dedication, and YOU deserve to give yourself the time and attention to get on a path to living a healthy lifestyle, not for an outfit or party or summer vacation, but for life.
Do you have a story you'd like to share? Hit me up.